Good news! Humans are now living an extra extra long time! Bad news! We’re spending a lot of that time being really sick. Biology is a fickle mistress and there are certain aspects of aging that are inevitable, but one thing we can all control (at least to some extent) is our diet. Researchers and nutritionists are more convinced than ever that what we eat is a direct catalyst for how we feel. If you are between 25 and 35, there is no better time to show your body who’s the boss (hint: it’s you). For women, whether you are looking to bear children or not, reproductive health is a biggie as you near your 30s, but it doesn’t end there. Sudden weight change, hair loss, fatigue and a compromised immune system can all take place during this time. Most nutritionists point to 2 major factors to combat these nasty side effects of growing up: Lack of vitamins and too much alcohol. That doesn’t mean you can never pick up a drink and you have to toss back horse pill sized capsules every morning. But your liver needs more protection than ever, so if you are going to drink, don’t overdo it, and do eat a full, balanced meal (lots of raw veggies and protein) before you drink. And a multi-vitamin (the ones for women are often packed with extra iron for ladies) can’t hurt. Women are often deterred from fresh fruit because of the sugar, but keep in mind that, calories aside, fruit can also be packed with nutrients that are great for your skin, heart, and digestion.
Men, you are not off the hook. You may still look like you’re 18, but if you’ve hit your mid-twenties, chances are you can’t get away with the same diet choices you made in high school. If you are putting on pounds, they can also be more difficult to take off as you age. Pay attention to your body. It’s at this age many people discover a lactose or gluten intolerance, or other diet limitations. The rule of thumb will always be: the fresher, the better. Some folks swear by going off meat, or wheat, or dairy. If that works for you and you are getting all of the nutrients you need, great. As long as what you are eating is fresh and lean, you may not need to forgo an entire food group. And all of that business about drinking goes for you, too. Enjoy yourself, but your days of excess may be over. Your body will thank you. And take a vitamin, would you?